- Sterling Vineyards is working with online meal planning service eMeals on a shoppable menu for viewers of the Emmy Awards. The "Emmys At-Home Watch Party" menu pairs Sterling's wines with recipe suggestions for five party snacks for the upcoming awards show, per an announcement.
- The eMeals mobile app lets subscribers select the recommended dishes and wines to create a shopping list they can bring to a local grocery store, or tap for online grocery fulfillment from Amazon, Walmart, Kroger or any retailer with delivery service from Instacart or Shipt.
- To promote the menu, eMeals also is hosting a virtual "Pre-Emmys Prep Party" on videoconferencing site Zoom at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 20 to help people prepare for their watch parties. The virtual event features a discussion between master sommelier Gillian Ballance and Scott Jones, head of content at eMeals, about the recipes and suggested pairings with Sterling's wines. EMeals is giving away a $1,000 gift card to anyone who enters to win at its Emmys microsite.
Sterling Wines aims to educate consumers about wine pairings by partnering with eMeals on suggested recipes that people can make for an Emmys watch party, while also boosting sales for its selection of wines. With many people making home-cooked meals instead of going out to eat during the coronavirus pandemic, eMeals offers a way for subscribers to find ideas for new recipes and to use its mobile app to generate a shopping list. The integration with delivery services adds to the convenience of using the eMeals mobile app, while also giving brands like Sterling a chance to showcase their products.
EMeals recommends that people order Sterling's wines to fully appreciate the advice offered in its "Pre-Emmys Prep Party" with a professional sommelier, another sign of how marketers are hosting virtual events to engage homebound consumers while highlighting their brands. Videoconferencing platforms have surged in popularity among people who work from home, driving Zoom's 169% surge in revenue to $328 million in Q2 from a year earlier. Zoom was downloaded more than 300 million times worldwide in Q2, beating social video app TikTok as the most installed app during the period, per an estimate from analytics firm Sensor Tower.
Marketers are incorporating more live video — either in the form of videoconferences or livestreamed events -- in their recent efforts to engage homebound consumers. Among the recent examples, Chipotle Mexican Grill this year created "Chipotle Together" sessions with celebrity guests and as many as 3,000 participants at a time, followed by its "Lunch and Listen" livestreamed session on TikTok to celebrate Pride Month. Home goods maker Rubbermaid in July livestreamed a cooking show starring author Katherine Schwarzenegger, while spice maker McCormick in May hosted a virtual taco-making party with actress Drew Barrymore. The efforts can help to build stronger online communities around each brand.
Sterling and eMeals' promotional effort comes as some consumers depend more heavily on online grocery ordering, with the average order value hitting a high of $95 in August, per a shopping survey cited by Grocery Dive, a sister publication to Mobile Marketer. However, there are signs that the broader population of shoppers are returning to grocery stores as they grow more comfortable about leaving home. Delivery and pickup sales of groceries fell to $5.7 billion in August from a peak of $7 billion in June, the survey found. The finding helps to confirm a study from location data company Placer.ai indicating that foot traffic to grocery stores has fully rebounded to prior-year levels.